Big City Exodus: Luxury Homes Boom in Affordable Canadian Markets Only

The Great Escape: Luxury Home Sales Boom as Canadians Flee Pricey Cities

Imagine this: you've dreamt of a sprawling mansion with a pool, but sky-high prices in Toronto or Vancouver have put that dream on hold. Well, for many Canadians, that dream is becoming a reality – but not in the big cities they initially envisioned.

A recent report by RE/MAX paints a fascinating picture of the Canadian luxury home market. While overall sales are up across the country, there's a clear shift happening. Big cities like Toronto are seeing a slowdown, while smaller markets are experiencing a surge in luxury home purchases.

This article dives into this trend, exploring the reasons behind the big city exodus for luxury homebuyers and highlighting the Canadian havens where the luxury market is thriving.

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The Big City Squeeze: Why are Luxury Homebuyers Leaving?

For years, Toronto and Vancouver have been synonymous with Canadian luxury real estate. However, the tide is turning. These cities are experiencing a slowdown in luxury home sales, and there's a clear reason: affordability (or lack thereof).

Steep housing prices have priced out many potential buyers, even those in the luxury market. Imagine having a multi-million dollar budget but still struggling to find a property that meets your needs and desires. That's the reality for many in these big cities.

Think of it like this: In Toronto, your multi-million dollar dream home might be a detached house with a postage stamp-sized backyard. In other markets, the same budget could get you a sprawling estate with all the bells and whistles.

More Bang for Your Buck: The Rise of Affordable Luxury Markets

This is where the story gets interesting. As luxury buyers leave the big cities in search of more affordable options, smaller markets are experiencing a surge in activity. Cities like Calgary, Montreal, and Saskatoon are seeing significant increases in luxury home sales.

The appeal is clear: Get more luxury for your money. In these markets, buyers can find spacious homes, desirable locations, and a lower cost of living compared to Toronto and Vancouver.

Sun, Sand, and Luxury: Resort Towns Beckon Affluent Buyers

The allure of a luxurious lifestyle isn't limited to big cities. Resort towns across Canada are also attracting affluent buyers seeking a change of pace. Places like Whistler, British Columbia, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, offer a unique blend of luxury living, recreational activities, and stunning natural beauty.

Imagine waking up to panoramic mountain views or spending your weekends indulging in world-class wineries. For some luxury buyers, these resort destinations offer an unmatched lifestyle experience.

From Coast to Coast: Regional Standouts in the Luxury Market Boom

Let's take a closer look at some of the specific markets experiencing a boom in luxury home sales:

  • Calgary: This Alberta city boasts a strong economy, a vibrant downtown core, and a lower cost of living compared to Toronto and Vancouver. The luxury market in Calgary is seeing significant growth, particularly for detached homes with acreage.
  • Montreal: Steeped in history and European charm, Montreal offers a unique cultural experience for luxury buyers. The city also boasts a strong job market and a variety of luxury properties, from historic mansions to modern penthouses.
  • Saskatoon: This Saskatchewan city might surprise you. With a growing economy and a lower cost of living, Saskatoon is attracting luxury buyers seeking spacious homes and a slower pace of life.

These are just a few examples, and the trend is playing out in various communities across Canada.

The Allure of LLifestyle Choices: Beyond the Price Tag

While affordability is a major driver of the luxury market shift, it's not the only factor at play. Lifestyle choices are also influencing decisions. Many luxury buyers are seeking a better work-life balance and a chance to connect with nature.

Here's a breakdown of some lifestyle trends:

  • Remote Work: The rise of remote work opportunities allows luxury buyers more flexibility in choosing where they live. They're no longer tied to big-city jobs and can explore locations that offer a better quality of life.
  • Focus on Wellness: There's a growing emphasis on health and well-being among luxury buyers. Smaller cities often offer more access to outdoor activities, a slower pace of life, and a stronger sense of community – all factors that contribute to overall well-being.
  • Family-Friendly Living: Luxury buyers with families are increasingly looking for communities with excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, and plenty of green space for their children. Smaller cities can often provide these benefits in a more affordable package compared to big cities.

A Look Ahead: Will the Trend Continue?

The future of the Canadian luxury market remains to be seen. However, several factors suggest that the trend of affluent buyers fleeing big cities for more affordable luxury markets is likely to continue.

Here's why:

  • Housing Affordability in Big Cities: Unless there's a significant correction in housing prices, Toronto and Vancouver are likely to remain out of reach for many luxury buyers.
  • Rise of Remote Work: As remote work becomes more normalized, luxury buyers will have even greater flexibility in choosing their ideal location.
  • Lifestyle Appeal of Smaller Cities: The focus on wellness, family-friendly living, and a connection with nature will continue to attract affluent buyers to smaller markets.

FAQs: Luxury Homes in a Shifting Market

1. Is the luxury market slowing down in all major Canadian cities?

While Toronto and Vancouver are experiencing a slowdown, some other major cities, like Montreal, are still seeing growth in the luxury market.

2. What type of luxury properties are in high demand?

Detached homes with acreage, waterfront properties, and properties in desirable neighborhoods are all popular choices among luxury buyers.

3. What are some of the benefits of buying a luxury home in a smaller market?

Lower costs, more spacious properties, a lower cost of living, and a better work-life balance are some of the key benefits.

4. Should I consider buying a luxury home in a resort town?

Resort towns offer a unique lifestyle experience, but factors like access to amenities and potential seasonal fluctuations need to be considered.

5. What are some essential things to consider when buying a luxury home in a new market?

Research the local market, understand the property taxes, and consider the long-term investment potential before making a decision.


The Canadian luxury home market is undergoing a fascinating shift. As affordability concerns push buyers out of big cities, smaller markets are experiencing a surge in activity. This trend is driven by a desire for more space, a lower cost of living, and a better quality of life. Whether you're a lifelong city dweller or have always dreamt of a sprawling estate, the Canadian market offers a diverse range of options for luxury homebuyers. So, if you're ready to trade the hustle and bustle for a more relaxed pace, it might be time to explore the hidden gems of the Canadian luxury market.

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